Running man Ryan takes on 200-mile challenge in his grandad’s memory

Ryan Mason, who is running 200 miles in a month for Macmillan.

Ryan Mason, who is running 200 miles in a month for Macmillan.

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A college lecturer has taken on an extreme 200-mile challenge for cancer charity Macmillan in memory of his grandfather.

When Ryan Mason decided to take on the Macmillan ‘Go Sober for October’ challenge to give up alcohol throughout the month he didn’t just stop there – he also chose to run 200 miles over the 31 days.

Starting on October 1, the 29-year-old dad has been running more than eight miles each day with the aim to reach the 200-mile mark by Saturday.

Ryan, from May Street, Sunderland, said: “I decided to do it in memory of my grandad Thomas May, who passed away in November 2013 from lung cancer, aged 82.

“I wanted to do ‘Go Sober for October’ and just wanted to do that little bit extra so people would want to donate to Macmillan. There were so many charities I could have chosen, but Macmillan was one that was close to my heart.”

So far he has raised £500 for the charity and hopes he can raise more in the final days of October as he runs his last few miles.

He added: “I have not been into running as much – I play football on Sunday mornings for Washington Colliery but I have never done anything as crazy as this.”

After working all day in his role as a functional skills lecturer at Gateshead College, Ryan runs eight or more miles from his home in a nightly route that includes Sunderland AFC’s Stadium of Light, Southwick, North Hylton Road, Castletown, Wessington Way and the North East Business Innovation Centre.

Every night he has been uploading his progress, tracked by the Nike app onto social media and his Macmillan fundraising page as evidence of his achievement.

“There has been quite good support on social media,” he said.

“People were trying to talk me out of it at first, saying why don’t I just do 100 miles, but now I am more than halfway they have been more supportive and can’t believe I’m am actually doing it.

“It’s taken over my life a little bit. It’s physically challenging but I’m telling myself to keep going.”

To donate, visit: https://www.gosober.org.uk/participant?p=ryanmason